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July 9, 2014

After decades of tremendous growth in suburbia, we are now seeing a population shift back towards urban cores. A recent study from The George Washington University School of Business found that in Atlanta more than 60% of income-producing property in the region was developed in Established or Emerging Walkable Urban Places (WalkUPs), which account represent less than 1% of the region’s land mass. WalkUPs are more densely developed, provide a range of transportation options and building uses.

April 1, 2014

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the cyclical nature of trends. Clothing, household goods, and other designs are frequently recycled, but what about construction and homebuilding? A current trend in architecture is the “New Old House,” a classically detailed home that creates a sense of history. New Old Homes use vernacular, or regionally appropriate, architecture. Vernacular architecture typically includes traditional, regional design features such as roof slope, window overhangs, and foundation type that were developed over time in response to local climates.

March 6, 2014

I think it’s safe to say last week’s RESNET Building Performance Conference was a success. There were over 1,000 attendees from around the country representing all facets of the construction industry.

January 24, 2014

Atlanta, like many cities across the country, is experiencing an urban revival. New homes and businesses are sprouting daily. The city’s population and economy are growing. Despite this tremendous economic activity, not all communities are benefiting equally and there is concern about a growing deficit of affordable housing. The Pittsburgh neighborhood was once the poster child for “left behind” communities, but today it seems finally poised for a resurgens of it's own.

January 12, 2014

Congratulations, you’ve landed a big multifamily project! Now the only thing you have to do is figure out the HERS Rating. Even for experienced HERS Raters the first multifamily Rating can be an intimidating endeavor. SK Collaborative is proud to partnering with EnergyLogic Academy to present "Performing Multifamily HERS Ratings" at the 2014 RESNET Conference in Atlanta, GA.  This session will cover the ins and outs of multifamily building level and unit level HERS Ratings.

November 6, 2013
One of the biggest energy guzzlers in your home (besides, most likely, your thermal envelope, which lets expensive conditioned air escape through air leaks and poorly insulated walls) is the refrigerator. Upgrading it, believe it or not, can save you a bundle of money in the long run, as long as you don't simply put your old fridge down in the basement and plug it back in.
November 6, 2013
On cold winter days, a ray of sun streaming into your house can be most welcome - a free source of heat. But what about in the summer, when those rays of sun and other, less-evident solar heat, seep into our already too-hot houses and become a costly nuisance? Well, what happens is that you lose money.
November 6, 2013

Pending in the Senate is a bill called the Home Star Retrofit Act of 2010, or simply Home Star for short. Sometimes referred to as Cash for Caulkers in street slang, the bill would provide a series of financial incentives for homeowners to increase the energy efficiency of their homes through substantive, effective improvements to their homes that save homeowners money, reduce our country’s carbon emissions, help to mitigate climate change, and put tens of thousands of Americans back to work.

November 6, 2013

Looking through the April issue of Remodeling Magazine (after reading my own column in the issue), I ran across an article about John Tabor, a remodeler who used an addition to his own home to learn about green building and train his crews on technologies that they had not yet used.

November 6, 2013

I recently completed the green rater’s pre-drywall inspection on a LEED for homes project about a 1½ hour drive from where I live. It’s a very well done, modest house designed by an architect for his own, rapidly growing family. They are expecting their second child soon and look forward to moving into their new LEED home shortly after the new arrival.

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